My Summer Reading List

These past few months, I, like many others have had more time than ever to reflect. I, also, have snacked and slept in later more than ever (oops). I have formed one good habit though and it is reading more books for fun. I’m pleased to share I’ve got back in the swing of reading before bedtime.

Before quarantine reading was just hard for me, which is strange because I used to love reading. For reference, I was *very* late to the Harry Potter club and binged the entire series in 2018. After graduating, I was so eager to read for fun again. Because when I wasn’t reading for class the only books I “let” myself read were non-fiction ones that were sure to help me excel in my career or post-grad life. I was itching for some fiction novels to escape to. Then somewhere along I hit a slump and struggled with finishing books I thought I liked.

A few months ago, when walking around the park with my friend Heather she dropped a major truth bomb that she learned “you don’t have to finish a book you don’t like.” *mic drop* I guess with school I learned to read a book through whether I liked it or not so post-grad I felt like I had finish whatever I was reading. But I shattered that notion and started only reading books that interested me.

Books I’ve Read This Summer

My friend Taylor and I have been reading from Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club this summer and it has been nothing short of amazing. *insert nerd emoji here* We leave detailed video reviews for each other after each read and it’s so much fun to exchange thoughts and keep us accountable for the next one. Cheers to friends inspiring friends to read!

Reese’s book club is in partnership with her media company Hello Sunshine that focuses on sharing female stories. Every book is completely different, and I’ve loved them all so far. I don’t want to share too much so you can pick these up yourself but I’ve included a few notes from each novel.

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

There are several ideas in this book I can see being controversial to readers. It forced me to face lies I tell myself and allow society to tell me. When it’s all said and done, Glennon is sharing hard experiences she has lived through and wants to share her truth with others to help them break down walls that hold them back. All things female empowerment, autonomy, and finding your version of brave made this a revitalizing read.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I completely understand all the rave reviews I heard about this book and c a n n o t wait for the movie to come out. There’s more to Eleanor’s story than meets the eye and she is unlike any other protagonist in the best way. A lost homebody (with little social skills) her life is never the same after rescuing an elderly man with her IT co-worker. If you like rooting for the quirky underdog then you’ve got to give this a chance.

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

I feel like this is one of those books that people will interpret in different ways depending on their life experiences. Stories like this from the perspective of African Americans are more important than ever. Emira is a babysitter for a high-class influencer mom who is racially profiled while watching her daughter and their lives intersect interestingly.

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

I listened to this one on Audible with a free trial back in April. If you are looking for a book to truly transport you to a different time and place (who doesn’t need that right now(???)) then this is the one. Based on a true story, this character lineup of courageous women makes for an amazing journey of delivering books for Eleanor Roosevelt’s traveling library.  

I recommend trying out Libro.fm because you are supporting a local independent bookseller of your choice. Or Libby to listen or read for free (all you need is a library card). What a neat idea! I love listening to podcasts or books while I do chores or work from my laptop.

However, I prefer a physical book over a Kindle, etc. to hold in my hands because there’s something so nostalgic about it. Also, to give my eyes a break from being on my computer and cellphone all day.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Is my current read!

Here is a list of all of Reese’s Book Club picks up to date if you are interested in picking up a few yourself or learning more.

On My List

Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown

Truthfully, anything by Brené is on my list. I recently watched her Netflix Special The Call to Courage that focuses on vulnerability and her talk inspired me to write my post on Cancel Culture. I know I’m late to the party here but excited to learn from all of her work.

By making it a priority to read books these past few months, I have pushed myself to be inspired by other woman’s stories. There is so much to learn in this vast world we live in. By turning a few pages, we get to walk in someone else’s shoes and see things we could have never seen from where we are standing.  

If this year has taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. Who knows what the future will bring but I will try to bring more books along with me!

What have been some of your favorite reads, recently?

Best,

Lauren

*This post is not sponsored

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